What used to be a summer festival in Leesburg has moved been moved to next month and has been expanded to include fireworks and other new attractions.
The Leesburg Fall Festival will be held Sept. 15-17 in the parking lot behind the Highland County North Joint Fire and Ambulance District, and possibly elsewhere.
“It used to be the Leesburg Summer Fest, but there was not a lot of attendance and it was always hot that time of year, especially when it’s held on blacktop, so one of the first things I wanted to do was move it to the fall so it’s not as hot and we get more people there,” said Angel Greenlee, the new Leesburg Lions Club president.
The festival is organized by the Lions Club, but it is sponsored by Luminex Home Decor & Fragrance Co., formerly known as Candle-Lite.
If the festival goes well, Greenlee said the plan is to continue to hold it each year on the third weekend in September.
“We’re going to try it out this year and add some new things like rides and fireworks,” Greenlee said. “We’re not trying to make money. We just want the festival to grow and if it gets good feedback we’ll try to keep it at this time of year.”
Vendors will not have to pay a fee to set up this year as long as they do not need electric service. If they need electric, Greenlee said she was not exactly sure of the fee, but that it would probably be around $25.
The festival will run from 5-11 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to after 10 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to around 4 p.m. on Sunday.
There will also be more musical entertainment with a sort of theme each day, Greenlee said. She said Friday will be country music night, Saturday will be rock n’ roll and Sunday will be southern rock. Sean Poole, a former Greenfield resident and current resident of Leesburg, will kick off the entertainment schedule at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
The fireworks will take place at 10 p.m. Saturday, then the festival will close down when they are over. Greenlee said there will be rides, which the festival has never had before, all three days.
Some of the other attractions will be a parade at 2 p.m. Saturday, a lip sync battle between the village fire department and police department, and a car show with deejay music from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. In between, there will be a beauty pageant for older girls Friday evening and another pageant for younger girls Saturday, a pancake and sausage breakfast Saturday morning, a fire department fish fry, a 5K run and three-on-three basketball tournament Saturday, a hay maze, seating that wasn’t offered in the past, demonstrations by local groups and more.
“We have stuff going on pretty much all day all three days,” Greenlee said. “And we’re still booking vendors and other things. We will find room for anyone and anything that wants to take part.”
The festival has a Facebook page where more details on several of the events are offered.
“We hope everyone will come out and participate and be involved and help us build the festival for next year,” Greenlee said. “Hopefully, we will have something for everyone.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.